Adidas

Nice traditional and light training shoes. You know them. They have all of them: road, trail, and spikes. What else does a runner need?

That being said, there is a lot of hit or miss shoes on their shelf. With some brands, you can determine bad and good ones based on tech, stats, and basic appearance. This is not the case with Adidas. Most of their shoes are complex combinations of different technology unique to the shoe. If you have never tried one - you really could not be sure.

But the tech itself is good. One of the best, to be honest. Propulsion plates? They have it. Expanded TPU? They invented it. Composite midsoles? Like every single shoe. Tire-level rubber on the outsoles? Continental has your back. The only downside is every single piece adding to the price tag. Not as much as Nikes, but never the less.

Frequent clearances provide a pretty good price/quality ratio for most shoes. Just try them on before buying and avoid blind online purchases.

Technology

Boost

A bit overhyped 'energy-returning' midsole. Fine for basic training and casual walking. Very soft and mushy. Despite all the claims, it returns less energy to a runner than many traditional shoes are. That's because all the return is directed upwards to your foot, not alongside the stride. That's why they are not really suitable for running. Easy miles and relaxed jogging - maybe.

Type Lifespan Softness Bounce Support
TPU pellets Forever (?) Soft Fine Minimal

LightStrike

A lighter EVA midsole. Basic, plain, and simple. Provides zero to no support why often used with propulsion plates.

Type Lifespan Softness Bounce Support
EVA 400 km Neutral Small Minimal

Boost HD

A refreshed version of boost. Firmer, more suitable for actual running. Same TPU pellets, but a little bit smaller, getting it a bit of a punch. Not as punchy as Reebok FloatRide Forever Energy, it stands in between. Otherwise, there is nothing special about this midsole.

Type Lifespan Softness Bounce Support
TPU pellets Forever (?) Softer Fine Normal

AlphaBounce

Soft foam (TPU?) caged in firm EVA (think Reebok FlashFilm). Sounds good, but the execution is off for running. It is not suitable for any serious workouts. Walking in the park? Sure! Occasionally running 6:00+/km? Maybe. Nothing more. Too firm and lack bounce (which is odd, considering the name). All the cushion is in the heel, and the forefoot strike is a burden in them.

All of that has a good explanation tho. This midsole was designed for tennis. Yeah. And it did a great job with nice bounce and stable That's why you should not expect any performance from the shoes with it.

Type Lifespan Softness Bounce Support
EVA-caged TPU Forever (?) Firmer Fine Fine

Adidas 4D

3D printed premium midsole with a curve to it. Not yet tested it for running due to shoe price. Casual usage feels like a regular high-stack EVA shoes with a bit more of a punch and support.

Type Lifespan Softness Bounce Support
3D-printed Unknown Firm Fine Normal

Torsion system

A fork-shaped plastic propulsion plate to give an additional snap and stability. Often used with LightStrike. Provides plenty of rigidity to minimal running shoes.

LEP - Little Extra Push

Smaller propulsion mechanism with a little bit of a snap.

Continental

Tire-branded rubber on the outsoles with a great grip on any asphalt-like surface;

Lifespan Softness Traction Support
500 km or more Normal Excellent Minimal

CelerMesh

Very breathable, but fragile seamless mesh upper. Easily torn even with a regular load over extended running sessions or in bad weather conditions. The worst-case for mine was 100km per shoe. Not a fan. The lockdown is okay and provides plenty of support.

Lifespan Durability Breathability Support
100-500 km Very low Excellent Minimal

Shoes to consider

The Good

The Bad

Verdict

Good running shoes if you know what you are going to get, but a pricey gamble otherwise.